Sexual Orientation Harassment

Florida Harassment Based on Sexual Orientation at Work

Although members of sexual minorities--gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender--are not explicitly protected from workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation under state or federal law, both the Florida Commission on Human Relations and the federal courts have shown some willingness to protect persons from harassment on the basis of sexual orientation at the workplace. To learn about your rights if you have experienced this problem on the job, contact a knowledgeable workplace rights attorney at the Law Office of William M. Julien.

In a national survey presented at a conference in Orlando in 2002, 10 percent of gay and lesbian workers reported discriminatory treatment in hiring or termination, but 40 percent reported harassment at work. Neither Florida nor federal law is clear as to whether gay or lesbian employees are protected from hostile workplace harassment, but depending on the circumstances, a claim for damages can be presented and won. The case would be strengthened if the company's own policies prohibited harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and then failed to enforce or apply its own procedures for investigating or correcting the problem.

Sexual harassment cases involving same-sex predatory or exploitative conduct on the part of a supervisor, manager, or coworker are more likely to support a successful claim against the employer. When serious cases of sexual harassment cross the line into stalking, intimidation, or workplace violence, courts can also be expected to support the rights of the victimized worker upon the presentation of strong evidence.

At the Law Office of William M. Julien in Boca Raton, we focus our practice on protecting the rights of all employees to fair treatment on the job. For advice about your rights in a case involving sexual harassment on the basis of sexual orientation in the area between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, contact us  for a free consultation with an experienced workplace rights lawyer.